The Background You Need If You Are Considering a Dram Shop Case Against Truck Yard
In my over 30 years of practice, I've sued more bad bars for illegal alcohol service than any other lawyer in the state of Texas. With hundreds of cases behind me, I'm all too familiar with how serious the consequences of alcohol over-service can be. Most people don't have the same awareness of this issue, though, so I spend part of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Truck Yard is a small chain of Texas beer gardens with locations in Dallas, The Colony, and Houston. In addition to its food and drink offerings, it is known for its laid-back atmosphere, ample outdoor seating, and of course, the numerous old cars that are used to decorate each location. What is not as widely known is that, in the last five years, the TABC has investigated Truck Yard for claims that it violated liquor laws on four separate occasions.
Not every bar that appears in TABC's complaint records has contributed to an accident. However, nearly all the bars I have sued for their role in a wrongful death or injury have had a history of investigations into alleged liquor law violations. The more complaints on file, the greater my concern becomes that the bar in question might one day play a part in a tragedy.
Before moving on, I want to emphasize that an investigation does not mean that a bar did anything illegal. Conversely, if authorities investigate and determine that the establishment is not in violation of TABC code, that does not mean that the alleged violation did not take place. Given the nature of liquor law violations, it can often be exceedingly difficult to obtain the evidence necessary for a conviction. We are simply reporting the locations that were put on the TABC's radar for one reason or another by concerned citizens and law enforcement agencies.
TABC Investigations of Truck Yard Since 2015
Dallas - 5624 Sears Street
On 06/10/2015, a citizen complaint alleged that this location committed four separate violations: permitting a minor to consume alcohol, selling alcohol to a minor, selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron, and staff drinking on the job.
Authorities investigated the claims, but could not turn up any evidence that would secure a conviction. As a result, the case concluded without further action on 07/22/2015.
Houston - 2118 Lamar Street Suite 150
A member of the Houston community claimed on 07/08/2019 that this location sold alcohol to a minor as well as to a drunk customer. TABC followed up this complaint report with an investigation into the matter.
After little over five weeks of inquiry, authorities could not uncover any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation that would hold up in court. Thus, they ended their investigation on 08/18/2019.
The second complaint against this location was filed on 09/09/2019. The complaint alleged that staff sold alcohol to a customer who was already intoxicated, a claim that TABC subsequently investigated.
This type of complaint is far from easy to corroborate in the absence of video evidence. Unable to prove any wrongdoing occurred, authorities concluded their investigation on 10/13/2019.
The Colony - 5949-5959 Grove Lane
On 12/03/2019, a concerned citizen filed a TABC report alleging that this location served alcohol to a minor and allowed for a customer to remove an alcoholic beverage from the premises.
The investigation into these claims did not produce any results, and when you think about it, it's not hard to see why authorities would struggle to find proof in this case, either. Most of the seating at Truck Yard is outdoors, so the likelihood of finding video footage to back up the allegations is even slimmer than it would have been at an indoor bar. On 01/06/2020, TABC closed the case without further action.
Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars
If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.